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Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari
Birth name Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari
Born June 24, 1977(1977-06-24) (age 44)
Place of birth Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Rank Colonel, USAF

Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari (born June 24, 1977; Col, USAF) is an American test pilot and NASA astronaut candidate of the class of 2017. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, MIT, and U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, and has over 2,000 flying hours.

Early life and education[]

Chari was born on June 24, 1977, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Peggy Chari. He was raised in Cedar Falls, Iowa and attended Columbus High School. In 1999, he graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a bachelor's degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science, with a minor in Mathematics. He received a fellowship at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied automated orbital rendezvous and earned a master's degree in Astronautics and Aeronautics.[1][2]

Air Force career[]

After completing his master's degree, Chari attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB. He attended F-15E Strike Eagle training at Seymour Johnson AFB, and was subsequently stationed at Elmendorf AFB and RAF Lakenheath, and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Chari attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, and was a test pilot at Eglin AFB. He served as the project pilot for the F-15C Eagle APG-68v3 and F-15E Strike Eagle APG-82 programs for incorporating Active Electronically Scanned Array radars. Chari attended the U .S. Army Command and General Staff College, and served as a CENTCOM time sensitive targeting officer. Chari's last assignment prior to his selection was commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron.[2][3]

NASA career[]

In June 2017, Chari was selected for NASA Astronaut Group 22, and reported for duty in August to begin two years of training as an astronaut.[1][4]

Personal life[]

Chari and his wife Holly have three children.[1]

Awards and honors[]

During his Air Force career, Chari was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, and the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal. Chari is an Eagle Scout, and was a distinguished graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy and Undergraduate Pilot Training.[1][5]

References[]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration document "Astronaut Candidate Raja Chari" by Mark Garcia (Official NASA biography). Retrieved on September 20, 2018.

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
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